OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Popular Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis talked freedom and individual liberty again with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday as reports swirled that some elected leaders around the country may soon require their citizens to get a COVID-19 booster or risk alienation.
During the segment, the “Sunday Morning Futures” host said the notion of being “fully-vaccinated” may soon mean a pair of initial vaccines plus a booster, citing what Dr. Anthony Fauci has said before asking DeSantis if he had gotten a booster shot.
The governor demurred, however, saying instead that he “did the normal shot” before adding that it is “people’s individual decisions about what they want to do.”
“Governor, we’re not even sure what fully-vaccinated means anymore. The other day, Dr. Fauci said, you know, we could be that fully-vaccinated means three shots, which is two shots for the vaccination and then one booster shot. Have you gotten the booster?” Bartiromo said, leading the governor to respond:
So, I’ve done whatever — I did the normal shot, and you know, that, at the end of the day, is people’s individual decisions about what they want to do. But these boosters, in terms of — now Florida, we don’t, we banned vaccine passports; we won’t let them fire [you], even private businesses, over this because we don’t think that’s appropriate.
He added: “But one of the reasons why we took those steps is because we knew the definition of vaccination would be a shifting target. And I predicted this a month and a half ago, and people said that I was wrong, and now we’re starting to see it come to fruition.
“So, there’s gonna be people who’ve done maybe two Pfizer shots who are not doing [the] booster, and they could be considered in certain parts of the country to be unvaccinated, and then denied the ability to participate in society like everybody else,” DeSantis continued.
“It’s gone way, way too far, and that is a decision that people should make for themselves, but they should not have their rights, freedoms, or liberties restricted based on these boosters,” he said.
The Republican governor’s comments come following a vow earlier this month that he won’t shut down his state again despite the emergence of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
“In Florida, we won’t let them lock ya down, we won’t let them restrict you, we’re not gonna let them impose mandates, we’re not gonna let them close the schools,” said DeSantis noted after a speech at a park in Oldsmar, located just west of Tampa.
“We are gonna protect your freedom to make your decisions,” he added, noting further if Sunshine State residents feel that they should self-quarantine, then “that is absolutely their decision in a free society.”
“You don’t impose Fauci-ism on the whole country or on a whole state. It’s wrong” DeSantis noted further, going on to cite the state’s low coronavirus infection and death rates.
Fox News went on to cite a Florida department of health official who said that the state had found one “presumptive case” of the new strain at that time.
“Since the pandemic’s beginning, the Department has conducted genomic sequencing and maintains surveillance of emerging variants in Florida,” the official said. “As a result of these continuous and diligent efforts, the Department quickly identified a presumptive case of the Omicron variant in Florida.”
DeSantis went on to note that governors in some states are already imposing new lockdowns and other restrictions because of the omicron variant, which is reportedly not nearly as potent as previous strains.
“It’s a free country, so when people are in bad environments – when you have states that don’t know how to fight crime, when you have states that are locking people down, mandating them, doing a lot of stupid things – people look for greener pastures,” he said.